The Winchesters haven't lost their appetites, though, and munch on burgers as they head back to the Lair O' Letters. "How'd you know Artemis had the hots for Prometheus?" Dean asks. "Intuition?" Sam says, but it sounds like a question. "Luck?" he guesses again. Maybe this, along with the trialberculosis, is some side effect of undertaking God's tests? Additionally, Sam is feeling pretty self-reflective. "I'm starting to think maybe I was being naïve," he says, "when I said that could just will myself into coming out of these trials unscathed." Dean tells him to stow the emo crap. "You're not gonna die like Prometheus," he says. "If you die, it's gonna be because of something normal." That gets him a little smile. "Like a heart attack?" Sam asks. "Yeah," Dean says, and tells him to eat his burger. Hee. Also: aww.
But, as usual, Dean's confidence is for Sam's sake. When they get back to the Lair O' Letters, Dean heads for his room and sinks down onto the edge of his bed like a two-ton weight is on his shoulders. He cases his gaze heavenward. "Cass, you got your ears on?" He gets only silence in return, but goes on anyway. "Listen, you know I'm not one for praying, because in my book it's the same as begging. But this is about Sam, so I need you to hear me." Quiet guitar music plays in the background, and even as soft as it is, it feels like an intrusion here. "We are going into this deal blind, and I don't know what's ahead, or what it's gonna bring for Sam. Now, he's covering pretty good, but he is hurting, and this one was supposed to be on me." Which means we should start steeling ourselves now for the monumental, self-loathing guilt Dean will feel by season's end, even though Sam practically begged to be allowed to do the trials himself. "So for all that we have been through," Dean says to his absent angel, "I'm asking you... keep a lookout for my little brother, okay?" He closes his eyes for a moment, then looks around, hoping to see Castiel standing there behind him, as he often has. But there's no angel there, and perhaps none can hear him through the Lair's walls. It's warded against all evil, and maybe that includes angels who've been under Naomi's control. Dean despairs. "Where the hell are you, man?"
Looks like he'll have to wait until at least March 20 to find out.
Tippi Blevins has been possessed by a recapping demon. Send holy water to firstname.lastname@example.org, or chant spells at her on Twitter: @TippiB.